TOPTokyo LifeNews & OpinionHashtag This: How Japanese Twitter Users Are Talking About Tokyo 2020

Hashtag This: How Japanese Twitter Users Are Talking About Tokyo 2020

Protests and online petitions aren't stopping netizens from contributing to the conversation regarding the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

By Lisandra Moor

Protests and online petitions aren’t stopping netizens from contributing to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic conversation. One can always count on Twitter to keep you in the loop. Even if you’ve muted, blocked and unfollowed everybody and anybody involved with Tokyo 2020. Such is the nature of this cursed platform.

For those who might be curious about how Japanese Twitter users have been tweeting about the event, here’s a crash course covering some of the most popular hashtags we’ve seen pop up in the last few months.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty though, let’s get some basic Olympic lexicon out of the way. Tokyo Olympics or Tokyo 2020 in Japanese is 東京五輪, read tokyo gorin. It’s also sometimes referred to using simply 五輪, as you’ll see in some of the examples below.

#CancelTokyo2020

The most active Twitter hashtags of late have been those opposing the Olympics.

There are many variations out there but #東京五輪の中止を求めます (read Tokyo gorin no chushi o motomemasu) is by far the most prominent hashtag here. The rough translation is: “I call for the cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics,” but the emotion is more along the lines of “Cancel. The. Olympics.” You know, in the tone of a parent tired of their kid asking: “Are we there yet?”

This hashtag became the most used phrase for this issue when lawyer Kenji Utsunomiya started an online petition against the Olympics that went viral. It continues to be used actively even after the start of the Games last week.

Related hashtags

#東京五輪中止 tokyou gorin chuushi Cancel Tokyo 2020

#今からでも五輪中止を ima kara demo gorin chushi It’s not too late to cancel the Olympics

#五輪は見ない gorin wa minai Not watching the Olympics

#反五輪 han gorin Anti-Olympic

#LivesOverGames

If not directly opposing the Olympics for its various scandals, Japanese Twitter users have been expressing their concerns over the risk of holding such a big event during a pandemic that doesn’t seem to be even remotely close to ending in Japan. #五輪よりも命が大切 is the one that’s been the most used for these particular conversations. Read gorin yori mo inochi ga taisetsu, it translates to “lives are more important than the Olympics.”

These users often call out the overwhelmed medical system in Tokyo, overworked doctors and nurses, as well as the increasing number of younger people being hospitalized. Recently netizens have been exposing the Games’ lack of proper safety protocols regarding infected staff and athletes. The user above reacts to the recent numbers that show that roughly 50 percent of PCR test results came back positive, showing a concerning increase in cases in the capital.

Related hashtags

#殺人五輪 satsujin gorin Killer Olympics

#Coronalympics

Similarly showing concerns about holding the Games with Covid in the air (pun intended), the hashtag #コロリンピック, read cororinpikku or “Coronalympics,” has been used when expressing fears of a more violent wave of infections in Japan or, even worse, the possibility of a new variant mutating and flourishing during the Games. The user above took it upon himself to draw a manga of Tokyo 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic once Tokyo exceeded 1,000 Covid cases. The athletes, though, are replaced with Covid variants. Leave it to comic artists to illustrate the absurdity of it all.

#RootingForJapan

It would be a little biased not to share some pro-Tokyo 2020 hashtags that have been spotted on Twitter. One of the JOC’s official hashtags: #がんばれニッポン, read ganbare Nippon and loosely translates as “go Japan!” is very popular. If you happen to be excited for the Games because you love sports, this is the hashtag to browse.

If you want to stay updated, make sure to follow our special Weekender 2020 Twitter account. We’re cheering for every country.

Related hashtags

#東京五輪の開催を支持します Tokyo gorin no kaisai o shijishimasu I support the hosting of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (Note: this hashtag is used especially among members of politically conservative groups. Use with caution).


For more Olympic content, check out our Tokyo 2020 daily updates and browse our Sports & Fitness section for interviews, deep dives and more.